Common Ground June 2016

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Habitat ‘76 by Lindsay Brown

The UN Habitat Conference on Human Settlements, Vancouver, June 1976, and how it gave the world 40 years of inspiration. Bill Reid mural at Habitat photo by Walter Quan

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.- Margaret Mead (she was there too)

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ay 31 2016 marks the 40th birthday of the opening of Habitat ’76, as it was known in Vancouver. Its official name was the United Nations Habitat Conference on Human Settlements and it ran from May 31-June 11, 1976. It was the first megaevent to hit Vancouver since the arrival of the railway. In 1976 the majority of the world’s population was not yet living in urban centres, but it was clear even then that a crowded urban future was already on the horizon (it was correctly predicted at the conference that city dwellers would outnumber rural in thirty years, a milestone that was in fact passed in 2007, thirty-one years later). At the famous UN Conference on the Environment of 1972 in Stockholm, it was evident that while progress was being made on questions of energy, pollution and biodiversity, the human component of sustainable development had been left out, and that we needed to think globally about the condition and functioning of our human settlements - in terms of both ecology and social justice. The marriage of those two concerns would come to be known as sustainable development. Habitat ’76 would be the first large international gathering on the topic of sustainable settlements, and thou-

sands of governmental delegates and non-governmental participants descended on Vancouver to attend. It was the largest UN conference that had ever been held. I was a child volunteer for the Habitat conference, and like many schoolchildren in Vancouver who participated in it, Habitat was a pivotal experience. It defined for me

At Hangar 5, Pierre Trudeau talking to Al Clapp the heart and mind of Habitat Forum’s magic to his right with Justin in front of him. Next to Trudeau on his other side is Paul Manning. Photo Collection of Paul Manning

not just what Vancouver could be and do, and what was possible in cities in general, but also my role as a citizen in a local and global context. I never forgot it. I can still hear Buckminster Fuller saying, as he stood outside on a simple wooden platform by Jericho Beach, “You can’t throw anything out. Because there is no ‘out’.” In 2009 during the lead-up to the Vancouver Olympics, I was reminded of Habitat over and over because in contrast to Habitat’s DIY scrappiness, the preparation for the Olympics had a hierarchical, top-down organizational structure and corporate feel. I began to lose patience with all the hype about the world coming to Vancouver; it was as if the world had never done that before. Expo 86 was periodically mentioned as a sort of dress rehearsal for the Olympics, but Habitat ’76 seemed to be excised from the city’s mental map. Nobody I mentioned it to had ever heard of it. I decided to write an article about this amnesia, but when I went online to find images and historical articles on it, I came up with virtually nothing—even on the UN’s website. It was as if the event had actually been deleted from history. I eventually found a single magazine article, and to my excitement it captured what I remembered of Habitat. It was by Joseph Roberts in this very magazine, and it was an interview of one of Habitat’s key organizers, Alan Clapp. Thanks to that Common Ground piece, I was quickly able to find a phone number for Alan Clapp. I immediately picked up the phone, half-expecting the number to be defunct. To my shock Al answered and

Hangar 7 with performance stage and longest bar in the world - the VSO played in that bandshell, Ann Mortifee, many famous names, banners by Evelyn Roth & Hannelore Evans and crew. Collection of Al Clapp, photo by Erol Baykal

Earth, which was probably the first major book on sustainable development. Despite being stricken with cancer she also wrote the theme book for Habitat ’76, Home of Man. Ward was joined in the early conference planning by famed anthropologist Margaret Mead and architect and thinker Buckminster Fuller. Bucky, Mead and Ward also spoke at the conference along with Mother Teresa, the utopian architect Paolo Soleri, Margaret and Pierre Trudeau and countless other major figures in public policy, housing activism, architecture, the arts, public health, ecology, economics and planning. Habitat was, to its credit and detriment, a conference about everything. Settlements are, after all, the locus of most human needs and activity. The official conference took over the


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I stuttered out that he didn’t know me but that I wanted to write about Habitat. He said, without a pause, “I’ve been waiting for this phone call for thirty-four years.” All of this had happened in a span of less than fifteen minutes. I went to Victoria to see Al, we became friends and he loaned me his personal Habitat archive. The article I had planned to write on Habitat quickly became a book. Looking back I’m not sure whether this book would have come into being at all had I not that found that June 2006 Common Ground article. The themes of the Habitat conference were largely framed by one of the founders of the field of sustainable development, the renowned UK economist Barbara Ward. Ward had written the theme book for the Stockholm conference, Only One

Queen Elizabeth Theatre and a number of downtown hotels. But non-governmental groups gathered at their own event, a parallel people’s conference called Habitat Forum. The Forum was held at Jericho Beach Park at a site constructed around five vintage Moderne (late art deco) hangars. The design and construction work had been carried out by a small and motley crew and 11,000 volunteers, all led by Al Clapp, the former broadcaster and now civic gadfly and counterculture events organizer. Clapp and his crew of hippies and artisans converted the disused hangars into a beautiful village with hand-milled seating structures made from salvaged wood and handmade banners from salvaged fabrics— an early feat of reuse and recycling. Hangar 3, which stood where the sailboat yard of the Jericho Sailing Centre stands now, was covered in a stunning mural custom-designed for the Forum by renowned First Nations artist Bill Reid. At the Forum, a carnivalesque atmosphere coexisted fairly harmoniously with grave discussion. Slum organizers and activists and policymakers from around the world raised pressing issues from land claims to water-borne illness to land title in informal settlements to community participation to children’s rights. The informality of the site’s design was deliberate, meant to facilitate social interaction, break down barriers and discourage formal behaviours, and by all accounts it succeeded. Hangar 7, the social centre, featured what was then “the world’s longest standup bar” designed and built largely by master carpenter Ian Ridgway from salvaged yellow cedar. In fact, delegates from the downtown conference could often be seen at the bar, having escaped from downtown via the shuttle or the Habitat Ferry which arrived directly at Jericho Wharf. Many of them said later that some of the most fruitful discussions they had in Vancouver were not in windowless Vancouver hotel conference rooms but in the drafty old hangars at the beach. Connections made at Habitat persist today, as almost everyone I have interviewed has told me.The conference produced a document called The Vancouver Declaration. It was an achievement that holds up even today, if you can ignore some of the outdated language. Because of a tense geopolitical struggle between the global north and south that was played out over the issue of the PLO-Israel conflict, and a double-cross by the Americans at the nth hour, consensus on the declaration was not achieved, continued p.21…



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Happy 40th Birthday Habitat ‘76 Lindsay Brown


The unaffordable subway – transit strategy supports big development Elizabeth Murphy


Tips on eating less factory farmed meat Interview with Sonia Faruqi


GMO Bites Health Canada approves first GM fish for human consumption


Another Wag the Dog BC Liberals’ fake war against Pharma


Naturally healthy getaways Michelle W. Book


Plant’n’rake without the ache


BC’s Code Red housing crisis Dr. Paul Kershaw and Anita Minh

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What’s next after big win over Bell? INDEPENDENT MEDIA David Christopher


The real thing is the real thing SCIENCE MATTERS David Suzuki


Plentiful plant protein NUTRISPEAK Vesanto Melina


Out of the maze into amazing UNIVERSE WITHIN Gwen Randall-Young











Many inspiring people came to the Habitat Forum at Jericho Beach dur-

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ing that beautifully inspirational day in June and transformed Vancouver into the heart and mind centre of the world. Here are wise words from some who attended: We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty. – Mother Teresa Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment. – R. Buckminster Fuller We cannot cheat on DNA. We cannot get round photosynthesis. We cannot say I am not going to give a damn about phytoplankton. All these tiny mechanisms provide the preconditions of our planetary life. To say we do not care is to say in the most literal sense that “we choose death.” – Barbara Ward My life is one long curve, full of turning points. – Pierre Trudeau

It is sad commentary that Alan Clapp, the visionary for Habitat Forum on Human Habitation in 1976, spent his final days fighting eviction from his Victoria residence. Quoting the Global and Mail … “He wanted to die in his own bed, said Ms. Glattstein. The couple had been trying to stave off eviction since Mr. Clapp, 83, was diagnosed earlier … with terminal brain cancer. In the last few days, bailiffs, moving trucks and a locksmith who demanded to change the locks showed up at their apartment, Ms. Glattstein recounted, but she held them off.” We must do better to honour each other and the Habitat Declaration. And yes we can do better. Let us start anew here in Vancouver.

The unaffordable


We can have this

by Elizabeth Murphy

Metro scheme has the hallmarks of a prodevelopment and deeply flawed transit strategy

For the price of this Equivalent electric streetcar network deliverable for same cost of proposed Broadway Corridor subway (Prof. Patrick Condon, et al, 2008, “The case for the tram; learning from Portland, Sustainability by Design: An examination of alternatives to an underground extension of the Millennium Line to UBC.” Foundational Research Bulletin, No. 6.) Using electric trolley buses or a mix with streetcars would even allow much broader coverage across the region for the same funds as one subway on Broadway.


ing) without the resources to fulfill it. The province refuses to consider using the obvious and appropriate funding source: the carbon tax. Funding options being considered are property taxes and development that would be downloading onto cities. Transit fare increases add to the cost of living for those who can least afford it and further discourage transit use. Property taxes are the main source of funding for civic governments that have correctly resisted provincial moves to try to take them for provincial purposes to fund transit. That resistance is now softening. Although the property tax mill rate per thousand dollars of property value is considered low in Vancouver, actual property taxes are based on sky-high assessments that affect the cost of homeownership and are passed on to renters. Property taxes are already tapped out for civic purposes. The proposed property tax increase for funding transit is a wedge in the door to future increases. Current budgets for the subway and the plan are likely way out of date and based on a previously stronger Canadian dollar. The estimates will go up significantly

during each phase over the projected 10 years. Using development to fund transit is another problematic proposal. This contribution is generally put towards paying for part of the civic amenities needed to service increased populations, such as parks, recreation, daycare and community centres. If the province uses development fees for transit, there will be large increases in tower development with fewer amenity resources left for the city to service the increased population. Then there is the issue of the plan itself. There was little public input or demonstrated support for the options proposed. Although upgrades to the current transportation system include a few more buses that are urgently needed, the major projects in the plan are expensive. A large amount of the funding is slated for a short, stubby subway from the Millennium Line at VCC along Broadway to Arbutus rather than to serve the broader city or regional transit needs. This has been raised by UBC professor Patrick Condon – as shown in the maps here – from his study comparing a subway with streetcars. For a fraction of the cost of a subway on Broadway, we could have street- continued p.20…

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roviding an expanded and improved transit system is vital to Metro Vancouver and the provincial economy. However, the subway is a poor choice for the Broadway eastwest thoroughfare. The current plans and funding models are promoted for corporate interests, but they are not in the public interest. Last year, the public voted down, by a large margin, the plebiscite for a sales tax increase to cover the Metro Vancouver transportation plan. This plan is actually a real estate and tower development scheme led by a subway. Now the same plan is being put forward again – this time with much more problematic funding options that would put the public in unnecessary massive debt, without any pretence of public support. The provincial government is failing to provide adequate funding for much needed transit while, at the same time, looking to benefit financially from development along an unaffordable Broadway corridor subway. So the civic level that receives only seven percent of the tax base is being required to take on this provincial funding responsibility (referred to as download-



READIT! Bruce Mason

Tips on eating less industrial meat

Sonia Faruqi recommends improved inspection regimes and shifting

from inhumane enclosures to large pastoral operations on the farm. Consumers can ask more questions.

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ast month Common Ground interviewed Sonia Faruqi about her phenomenally influential book, Project Animal Farm: An Accidental Journey Into the Secret World of Farming and the Truth About Our Food. The article is posted on our website along with a promise of a follow-up with advice for consumers who want to eliminate or cut down on meat, particularly industrialized meat. Turns out the most important action we can take on climate change is to change our diets and eat lower on the food chain. That would help eliminate


both world hunger and the insanity of factory farming with its aftertaste of nightmarish suffering. Sometimes taking inspiration from Europe, which is far ahead of North America, Faruqi recommends increased regulation, shifting from factory to large pastoral operations, ending battery cages, sow crates and veal calf enclosures and a complete reform of inspections regimes. In most Canadian slaughterhouses, inspectors are paid by the companies themselves. If an inspector shuts down a plant, everyone is out of a job. In the meantime, there’s an alphabet soup of labels: organic, free-range, free-

run, GMO and antibiotic-free, etc. Common Ground: Let’s start with labels and why they’re misleading. Sonia Faruqi: I include myself in having a higher opinion of ‘organic’ than it deserves. It’s useful for fertilizers and pesticides, but could be much improved for food, especially involving animals. For example, the organic standard in the US and Canada is a minimum of 120 outdoor access days a year. However, too often that’s become the maximum. It could be higher; it should be higher. It’s 180 in Australia. And even if animals are indoors, they should never be chained down. ‘Organic’ still has a long way to go. ‘Local’ is popular, but often appropriated. I’ve visited US farms that were re-branded because they were in trouble and became more successful. Consumers incorrectly assume that a farm in their neighbourhood is synonymous with ‘humane’ and ‘sustainable.’ ‘Free range’ is also ill-defined. How much space and how often outdoors is completely at the discretion of a farmer or contractor. Lack of policing is a huge problem. We have the technology – modern factory farmers only need a switchboard or cell phone – but have few basic standards about how farm animals should be treated. For instance, there’s no law that distinguishes a pig from a table. Clearly, this is the job of government. But currently, farmers often pay for their own audits. This is a conflict because they’re both subjects and clients. Slaughterhouses are overseen by government, but inspections are not being done well, if at all. CG: Were farm animals ever treated better? SF: Yes, I’ve seen indications in Indonesian villages and on farms in Belize and in growing numbers in the US and Canada. Small village farms were the norm a century ago; there was more of a relationship and more respect. Now, sentient animals are objectified and cost cutting and profit is paramount – a very different mindset from husbandry. Obviously, there’s been a heavy toll on the Earth and human health. CG: You write that labels often mean little or nothing. SF: This is a deliberate strategy by

agri-business. ‘Farm-fresh,’ ‘Natural,’ ‘Family-farm’ and ‘Third-generation farm’ are meaningless. For example, most factory farms are family farms and there is no indication they operate traditionally. Because most broiler chickens aren’t housed in cages, ‘Free-run’ chicken or turkey’ is redundant and often inadequate. And ‘Grain-fed animal’ is usually equivalent to a standard corn-fed diet, likely GMO. CG: Do some labels contain some useful information? SF: ‘Raised without hormones’ is deceptive for chickens, turkeys and pigs because, unlike dairy cows and beef cattle, hormones aren’t generally used. ‘Vegetarian-fed’ indicates egg-laying hens aren’t fed slaughter by-products, but says nothing about living conditions. ‘Raised without Antibiotics’ is helpful because they are so widely used in factory farms where animals are under extreme stress, but once again, indicate little about treatment. CG: What should we look for? SF: ‘Free-run eggs’ are from hens that aren’t housed in battery cages, but are kept indoors. ‘Free-range eggs’ indicates some level of outdoor access. ‘Organic milk’ is stringent for pesticides and drugs, but insufficient regarding treatment. Organic dairies are permitted to chain cows by the neck, conduct castrations and perform artificial insemination. CG: What should we be asking? SF: To ensure humane treatment for meat, milk and eggs, contact the company on the label. Ask how much space each animal is allotted and how much time they spend outdoors. Also, what mutilations are performed – castration, tail-docking, de-beaking, de-clawing? Also ask if animals are regularly given antibiotics and other drugs and confined to cases or crates or chained to stalls. Finally, ask if the farm permits public visits. If there are no definite replies, you have all the answers you need. When you find meat suppliers you’re comfortable with, stay with and support them. And spread the word. j Email questions to For more information, visit



he Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN), Ecology Action Centre, Living Oceans Society and the Quebec network Vigilance OGM are expressing concerns over Health Canada’s approval – announced on May 19 – of the world’s first genetically modified (GM) food animal, a GM Atlantic salmon, for human consumption.

Canadians could now be faced with the world’s first GM food animal, approved with no public consultation and no labelling. Environment Canada has already approved the production of the GM fish, but this decision is currently before the courts in Canada. The GM fish will not be labelled on grocery store shelves. “Canadians could now be faced with the world’s first GM food animal, approved with no public consultation and no labelling,” said Lucy Sharratt of CBAN (Canadian Biotechnology Action Network). Health Canada announced approval of the GM fish for human consumption in a conference call on May 19. The Atlantic salmon has been genetically modified using genes from Chinook salmon and

Health Canada approves first GM fish for human consumption It will not be labelled

ocean pout to grow faster. The Canadian decision follows a US government safety approval in November 2015, though there is now a US import ban on the GM fish until some form of labelling standard is established. “At the very least, the government should immediately establish mandatory labelling of all GM foods so consumers can choose,” said Thibault Rehn of Vigilance OGM. The latest consumer poll shows 88% of Canadians want mandatory labelling of all GM foods and 45% said they would definitely not eat the GM salmon. In November 2013, the Minister of Environment approved commercial production of the GM fish eggs and fish, triggering a court case brought forward by environmental groups Ecology Action Centre and Living Oceans Society. The case is ongoing. “GM salmon production threatens the future of wild Atlantic salmon,” said Calinda Brown of the Ecology Action Centre.

Major retailers in the US have already pledged not to sell the GM salmon. “Retailers can protect consumers and the environment by making sure this GM fish never makes it to grocery store shelves.” Major retailers in the US have already pledged not to sell the GM salmon.

The US company AquaBounty – now majority owned by biotechnology company Intrexon – says it initially plans to produce GM salmon eggs at its facility in Prince Edward Island in Canada and ship the eggs to Panama for grow out and processing. However, the company has approval to raise the GM salmon in Canada. Take action Email, write or call your Member of Parliament. You can search for your MP’s contact using your postal code at www. Write to the Minister of Health (also at and write to your grocery chain and ask them not to stock any GM salmon. Notes: With less than 24 hours notice, Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency invited stakeholders to join a conference call on May 19, 2016 for an “Update on a Regulatory Decision Related to Food.” This is the first time that federal regulatory agencies have announced a GM food approval outside of just notifying the company that requested approval and later posting the decision to government websites. For information on Canadian regulation, see CBAN’s report www.gmoinquiry. ca/regulation j Source: Canadian Biotechnology Action Network. For more information and action, please visit


Nova Scotia says no to genetically modified fish Provincial fisheries minister Keith Colwell says, “We’re more interested in making sure we protect what we have. Until someone can prove to us and to the public that this will be a good idea – and I don’t see much support anywhere for this – we’re not interested.”

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Drug Bust Alan Cassels


Another Wag the Dog

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BC Liberals can’t afford a real war against Pharma so they’ll fake one

n the 1997 political satire film Wag the Dog, Anne Heche, playing an advisor to the US president, turns to Robert De Niro, another presidential aide and whispers, “We can’t afford a war.” De Niro waves his hand and replies confidently, “We’re going to have the ‘appearance’ of a war.” The two are on a plane enroute to Los Angeles to recruit a famous Hollywood producer, played by Dustin Hoffman, whom they convince to work for them in constructing a fictional war. The sitting president of the US is caught up in a sex scandal 11 days before an election and, to distract the public’s attention, his advisers concoct a war with Albania. The De Niro character lays it out to Hoffman, waving his hands like a conductor: “It’s not a war, it’s a pageant. We need a theme, a song, some visuals. It’s a pageant.” The ensuing drama is ripe with scintillating satire, showing how craftily political operatives can manipulate the public’s attention and otherwise shape a narrative that can have a huge influence on world events – and elections. How does this have anything to do with pharmaceuticals and drug policy? Well, I found myself riffing on Wag the Dog when I saw a mini skirmish erupting between the BC Ministry of Health and the association of the Canadian brand-name drug industry known as Innovative Medicines Canada. This pageant included predictable talking points from astroturf activists and lobbyists berating the BC government and our Minister of Health while exhibiting unconvincing fearlessness. If this was a war, I’d seen it before. But back then it was the real deal. In the mid 1990s, a newly elected NDP government in BC brought in one of the most radical and profit threatening changes the drug industry had ever seen in North America – at a time when ministries of health were embracing this new thing called EvidenceBased Medicine, where groups like the Oxford-based Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, the Cochrane Collaboration and BC’s Therapeutics Initiative were being established. Basing policy on evidence instead of expert opinion allowed BC policymakers to consider ReferenceBased Pricing to help reign in runaway drug costs. Reference pricing was so simple a school child could understand it: if there was a bunch of products in a class of drugs that generally worked the same way – were ‘therapeutically equivalent’ – the government would pay for the cheapest one, the ‘reference’ drug. If you wanted a more expensive drug, you paid the difference. If the cheaper reference drug didn’t work for you, your doctor could ask PharmaCare for “Special Authority” and 95% of the time they were approved. The policy was a no-brainer and mirrored how many people shop: if there is no qualitative difference between competing products, why not buy the cheapest one? By the end of the 1990s, Reference Pricing in BC

covered five drug classes, including drugs for arthritis, ulcers, angina and blood pressure. Independent evaluations carried out by researchers found the policy saved the BC taxpayer about $44 million the first year in full operation, with no adverse impacts on health. With a provincial drug budget just over $400 million, this was a serious saving, yet the ensuing war between the BC government and the drug companies was a fullon, knock’em out fight. For weeks, full-page ads ran in the Vancouver Sun and the Globe and Mail, paid for by the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association of Canada and the Canadian Association of Retired Persons. They featured a sorry looking senior helplessly staring into her medicine cabinet under the headline, “The Provincial Government wants to change your medication.” The Ministry responded in the press with its own ads and the media went crazy covering the story. One Vancouver Sun headline read, “Minister condemns drug manufacturers. Greedy multinational firms trying to terrorize British Columbians.”

No wonder the drug companies were such avid donors to the BC Liberal party. Documenting this as a researcher was like getting a PhD in pharmaco-political propaganda. The BC Liberals listened to the lobbyists’ propaganda and promised to get rid of Reference Pricing if elected, which they were in 2001, helped by hundreds of thousands of Pharma money. After taking power, the Liberals commissioned several evaluations of the policy, which showed it was a great way to save money in the drug budget. Yet the policy was never expanded. We researchers knew of other drugs taxpayers were paying far more for than they needed to, yet the BC Liberals refused to expand Reference Pricing. The next class of drugs to be referenced – the cholesterol-lowering statins – was a big-ticket item when most of them were still under patent. Referencing them back in the 1990’s would have saved BC about $50 million per year. The Liberals refusing to implement this policy capable of saving $50 million a year for 16 years is an $800 million gift to the pharmaceutical industry. No wonder the drug companies were such avid donors to the BC Liberal party. In the intervening years, other pro-Pharma policies under a BC Liberal government were shockingly generous to drug companies. In 2003, the Liberals created what they called “Fair PharmaCare,” which tied a citizen’s drug coverage to their income, proving to be a $100 million per year bonanza to the drug companies, right out of the pockets of BC citizens. Instead of ‘managing’ drug cost growth, the Liberals took the cowardly way out: shifting the cost growth onto consumers. Perhaps the most blatant gift to Big Pharma was a 2007 commissioned review of PharmaCare designed to

formulate recommendations on reform. The resulting Pharmaceutical Task Force was so stacked with drug industry executives and cronies, the recommendations were ridiculously generous to the drug companies. And then in 2012, we had the PharmaCare firing scandal, which destroyed the government’s own capacity to carry out proper drug safety research in this province, another massive gift to Big Pharma. Fast forward to 2016 and an election looming; what do we see? The Liberals, to demonstrate how tough they are, dust off Reference Pricing, in the spirit of a wag-the- dog gimmick. This distraction is supposed to extend Reference Pricing to statins, angiotensin receptor blockers (for high blood pressure) and PPIs (proton pump inhibitors) for heartburn, but the savings, touted to be $9 million per year, are a drop in the bucket. The drug industry has also played its dutiful part in this charade by launching a lobbying campaign asking BC citizens to write their MLA, the Premier and the Health Minister to complain they are being denied access to “world class” drugs. Astroturf activists in BC’s Pharma-funded Better PharmaCare Coalition are also pretending outrage and have weighed in on the debate too. Terry Lake, our Minister of Health, told the Tyee he’s not a victim of lobbying by pharmaceutical companies. Really? Sorry, Terry, your whole government over the past 15 years has shown itself to be easily lobbied by the drug industry. We’ll know you’re serious about controlling drug costs when we see full-page attack ads in the Vancouver Sun. Until then, it’s a pageant. A concocted war against the drug industry surely benefits the BC Liberal Party, which is desperate to prove it’s not in the pockets of the pharmaceutical industry. Historically, the drug companies that make up Innovative Medicines Canada are among the Liberals’ biggest donors. They are getting the government policies on pharmaceutical policy that they have bought. I wonder what would happen if the Ministry brought in real, serious drug cost control policies such as halting the overprescribing of antipsychotic and diabetes drugs and oodles of other unsafe, and often useless, treatments? A government serious about playing hardball with the drug companies could probably save $300 million or more a year in BC and here’s the kicker: the health of the population would likely improve! Just like in Wag the Dog, maybe the BC Liberals know they can’t afford a real war so they’ll just fake one. Come election time, I’m hoping BC citizens can tell the difference between a government that has the cojones to take on the drug industry and one that is only faking it. j Alan Cassels is a drug policy researcher in Victoria and the author of the new book called The Cochrane Collaboration: Medicine’s Best Kept Secret.

Naturally healthy getaways

photo © Syda Productions

by Michelle W. Book


he weather is warming and this means one thing: Cottage season is upon us. Getting away for the weekend is a great way to unwind from a full workweek, but many Canadians may find it challenging to balance a healthy lifestyle with an indulging cottage getaway. What you choose to pack for the weekend can make or break your healthy routine. Here are a few simple tips to help keep you naturally healthy this weekend!

Safe fun in the sun A quality sunscreen is one of the most important things to pack when heading outdoors. Always choose a natural

Michelle W. Book is the in-house Holistic Nutritionist and spokesperson for the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA), an organization dedicated to educating Canadians about the benefits of natural health and organic products. As a busy professional with a young family, Michelle strives to spread the message that small changes in our everyday lives can have significant, positive effects on our health.


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Indulge smartly You’ve worked hard all week to earn your weekend, so you should be allowed to indulge, right? At the cottage it can be hard to stick to your regular routine, especially during happy hour on the dock. The good news is there are lots of healthier snacking options. For instance, trade in the potato chips for dehydrated or baked kale chips, which deliver a salty crunch without the extra calories. You can also find chips made from beans, root veggies and even lentils or coconut. Try them, love them! Relaxing on the dock or around the campfire at the cottage wouldn’t be the same without a drink to match the scene. Unfortunately, this indulgence is quite taxing on your liver. The process in which your body breaks down alcohol uses up B vitamins so I try to keep my body well stocked with these through either a high-quality multi-vitamin or a B-complex supplement.

sunscreen that contains zinc-oxide and titanium-dioxide, especially when selecting a product for your kids. Sunscreens containing these ingredients stay on the surface of the skin without being absorbed, allowing them to actually reflect the potentially damaging UVA and UVB rays. After a day in the sun, moisturizing is essential to soothe and heal the skin. Luckily, there are a slew of

options for effective, natural moisturizing oils. I love to use coconut oil as a moisturizer: it’s rich in medium-chain triglycerides, which have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that complement the skin’s protective barrier. A less familiar but equally excellent option may be seabuckthorn oil, which is rich in nutrients and phytonutrients that have been shown to improve skin hydration and even promote healing. There’s a wide selection of these products to explore, from the familiar Aloe vera to the exotic argan oil. I recommend you try a few and see which one works best for you and your family. Cottage country has a great array of locally owned and family-run grocers and natural health food stores. Make your next cottage getaway a healthy one. j


Nutrispeak Vesanto Melina Grace Yeh and Sharon Voong

Earn a Diploma in Applied Holistic Nutrition Achieve the accreditation of Certified Nutritional Practitioner (CNP) Qualify for the professional designation of Registered Orthomolecular Health Practitionar (ROHP)

hy does protein matter? As a component of muscle, bone and all body tissues, proteins are essential for structure and movement. They protect, coordinate body functions, help replace and maintain cells, and as enzymes facilitate biological reactions. People following plant-based diets need to be careful they get enough protein from the right sources to satisfy their body’s needs. Whether you are an omnivore, vegan, vegetarian or are considering a more plantbased diet, you might ask, “Where can I get adequate protein, if not from meat?” Many North American diets rely on animal products such as eggs, meat, seafood and cheese for protein. Yet all plants – vegetables, legumes, seeds, nuts and grains – contain good amounts of protein. Fruit is an exception, with less protein. Plant based diets can offer quality proteins while also providing a plethora of other beneficial nutrients.

amounts of protein. Fruit is an exception, with less protein. Protein requirements: The recommended dietary allowances vary with age: 0.8g protein per kg body weight per day is generally recommended for a healthy adult. Nutrition experts sometimes advise those on plant-based diets to consume slightly more – 0.9g/kg/d – because fibre in plant products decreases the digestibility of proteins. Overall, fibre has beneficial effects on blood sugar and cholesterol levels and intestinal health. Therefore, high-fibre foods should not be avoided due to their small impact on protein digestibility. It is not difficult to meet and exceed protein intakes on plant-based diets. Typically, a mixed diet that includes legumes, seeds, grains and vegetables within a 24-hour period easily provides adequate amounts of all essential amino acids.

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Plant protein options Examples of plant protein are provided below with grams per serving. Food Protein (g) Firm tofu, ½ cup 20 Black beans, pinto beans, split peas, cooked, ½ cup 8 Chickpeas, black-eyed peas, great northern beans, kidney beans, lima beans, mung beans, navy beans, cooked, ½ cup 7 Peanut butter, 2 tbsp 8 Pumpkin seeds, ¼ cup 10 Almonds, hulled sesame seeds, black walnuts, ¼ cup 7-8 Note: To increase protein digestibility, soak or sprout legumes, seeds and grains. Five tips to increase your plant protein consumption: (1) Garnish salads with beans, nuts, seeds or tofu. (2)Toss steamed vegetables with creamy sauces made from tofu or nuts. (3)Add chopped nuts or seeds to whole grains or oats. (4) Spread nut butters on toast. (5) Discover some great tofu marinades and add cubed tofu to stir fries, stews and soups For local restaurants serving plant protein-rich plant foods, see j Vesanto Melina is a Vancouver dietitian (, www.becomingvegan. ca) For more on vegan proteins, see Becoming Vegan: Comprehensive Edition (or the Express Edition) both with Brenda Davis. Grace Yeh and Sharon Voong are third-year UBC dietetics students.

Plant ’n’ rake without the ache the hips, keeping your head down. • Reach for the ground. Your thighs • Face a wall or tree and support yourself against it with one arm. • Bend your right knee and grasp your ankle or pant leg with your left hand. • Hold for 15 seconds; repeat on other side.

image © Katarzyna Bialasiewicz

Warm up Before you begin any physical activity, warming up is a key factor in preventing injury. Take a walk, even on the spot. Ten to 15 minutes should do it. Don’t forget to lift your knees and gently swing your arms.

Rake right Ease the strain on your back by putting one leg in front, the other behind. Switch legs and hands from time to time.

Stretch before you start To plant and rake without the ache, do each of these stretches five times. Don’t bounce, jerk or strain. Stretches should be gentle and should not cause pain.

Your arms and shoulders • Hug yourself snugly. • Slowly rotate at the waist as far as is comfortable to the left, then to the right.

Lift right Keep your back straight and always bend your knees. To lift something heavy, position yourself close to the object. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, head up, with your feet and body pointing in the same direction. Carry the load close to your body. Do not lift heavy objects above your waist and avoid heavy lifting immediately after prolonged bending or kneeling. j

Your wrists • Hold one arm out in front of you, palm down. • Bend your wrist until the fingers point to the ground.


Alternate Heavy. Light. Heavy. Light. That’s the right way to handle those chores. • Use your opposite hand to hold this position. • Place your hands in “prayer” position and press palms together. • Keep your arm straight and place your palm in the “stop” position. • Use your opposite hand to hold this position.

Your shoulders • Let your arms hang loose. • Rotate your shoulders forward. Then rotate back. Your back • In a seated position, bend forward from

Change hands Take the strain off by changing the position of your hands. Check your position And change it often. Kneel, then stand. Or simply sit and relax for a while.

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Your sides • Extend your right arm over your head. • Bend to the left from the waist. • Hold for 15 seconds; repeat on other side.

The right moves Kneel to lighten the load on your back; don’t bend to plant. Use kneepads or a kneeling mat to reduce the strain while you plant and weed. Keep your back straight and take breaks frequently. Change body position often. Alternate between light and heavy chores. Drink lots of water. Most importantly, loosen up before you start out.


Gardening tips by Joseph E. Fasciani • Weeds can get on any gardener’s last nerve, but they are easily dealt with. To make your own weed killing spray, combine the following: a gallon of white vinegar, a cup of table salt and a tablespoon of liquid dish soap. Shake until all the ingredients are mixed, pour into a spray bottle and use as needed. • Use old coffee grounds and crushed egg shells; not only do they provide nutrients for your plants, but they also help keep unwanted pests away. Slugs, squirrels and rabbits don’t like coffee or crushed eggshells, which means your plants will be able to grow more easily. • Bore 1/4” holes into a plastic 2L bottle to create an efficient and cheap way to irrigate your plants. When the bottle is buried so that the holes are in the roots zone, it provides trickle irrigation on demand and you can place the water by hose directly into the bottle. If aiming the hose stream even under low pressure is difficult, use a cheap plastic funnel in the bottle’s neck. • When you’re tending to plants in your garden, the last things you want to deal with are mosquitoes and aphids, but preventing them is pretty easy. Take sliced peels of any citrus fruit and scatter them around your garden. In time, they will also become nutrients for the same plants. • Use plastic forks to keep unwanted visitors away. To deter rabbits, rats and squirrels from your brand-new blooms, stick plastic forks, fork-side up, into the ground between all of your plants. This will protect your plants and let them grow in peace. • Use clear plastic egg cartons as a miniature greenhouse when starting seeds.

Your hamstrings • Stand and reach your hands to the sky. • Then bend at the waist and reach toward your toes. • Hold for 15 seconds.

ardening is a great way to stay active, grow food, and have fun in the sun. But many Canadians sustain injuries that can be easily prevented with a little know-how.

Dig deeper…


Mac McLaughlin



June 2016

The month starts off with a mutable Grand Cross. Hmm, sounds important and impressive. Let’s dig into it and see what it’s all about. A Grand Cross takes place when four or more planets form 90-degree angles along the ecliptic. On June 4, the Gemini new Moon squares off with Jupiter and Neptune while opposing Saturn. The new Moon gives us strong hints of the planetary energy that will be on board for the next 30 days. The lights (Sun and Moon) in square with Jupiter bring hints of excessiveness and waste, and the square with Neptune indicates confusion and deception. The opposition of the new Moon with Saturn exposes the mess and tallies the costs and concerns that must be dealt with, corrected and amended. Now the fun part – how do we decipher what the stars are telling us? Well, let’s back the truck up a bit. The biggest news last month was the monstrous fire in Fort McMurray. Thousands of people lost their homes and all their possessions and Canadians rallied and gave generously. Certainly, this has been a great setback and although painful, costly and unbelievable, we will wake up from this horrible dream and build and restore the community once again. The present planetary configuration tells the story in star language that the astrologers can decipher in helping us understand the energy unfolding at any given time. Retrograde Mars rises at new Moon time telling us that more fires are highly probable and it may be true that a fire bug or a group with a hateful agenda lurks in the shadows causing untold grief. The full Moon and summer solstice on June 20 will be another harbinger of very dynamic news, as the stars are indicating some type of controversy. Mercury, lord of the full Moon, rises at full Moon time and forms a series of challenging aspects that indicate possible delays with transportation, information and communication. As dramatic as it sounds, it may not be that way. It is more likely we will have our collective sleeves rolled up as we move forward in our effort to solve whatever concerns come our way. Truly, it’s no new news, just life coming down the pike, possibly a little faster than we would like it to be. Yes, we have our problems, concerns, collusions, collisions and every other type of phenomena to work out, and we will. And we will be better people and a stronger nation when the proverbial smoke clears and we come face to face with the stark realities that life offers up. Mac McLaughlin has been a practising, professional astrologer for more than four decades. His popular Straight Stars column ran in Vancouver’s largest weekly newspaper for 11 years. Email or call 604-731-1109.

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Retreats Krishnamurti Educational Centre of Canada

TAURUS Apr 20 - May 21 You’re not dead yet, far from it, but you may feel that something has died deep within you. It’s just life changing and often we cannot see the changes until we actually go through them. One act on the stage of life has finished and another is about to commence. Get yourself ready now. GEMINI May 22 - Jun 20 Well, what are you waiting for? Stomp on the gas pedal and go for it. The stars are ripe and many things are about to come to fruition. The fates are highly active and your sign is highly featured. There’s no shame in (Gemini) Donald Trump’s game. Win or lose, it’s your time to shine. CANCER Jun 21 - Jul 22 By early July, you will be flying high. The full Moon and summer solstice on June 20 sets a rapid pace. The stars are swaying in your favour. It may not seem that way as your pathway is fraught with some danger and powerful changes, but in the end it will be to your good. LEO Jul 23 - Aug 22 Sometimes, it’s who you know that gets you to the places you want to go. It’s your time to glad-hand, communicate and connect to the people intrinsic to your game plan. Turn on that lucky Leo charm; mix and mingle, and, of course, let others get a sense of who you are.

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A RIES Mar 21 - Apr 19 You’re busy. Lots to do, places to go, things to think about, plus there’s a burning desire to accomplish something or attain something that seems out of reach. Set your sights on the highest goals attainable and don’t give up – never give up and one day you will have it in hand.


VIRGO Aug 23 - Sep 22 A very dynamic Grand Cross takes shape and Virgo is involved. In essence, it’s how you play the game of life. Keep your integrity and honour intact; resist being seduced at all costs. You could lose initially, but you’ll gain greatly in the long run. What’s meant to be yours will come your way anyway.

LIBRA Sep 23 - Oct 22 Venus, ruler of Libra, accompanies the new Moon on June 4 and is involved with the Grand Cross taking shape at that time. Although a tad complicated to decipher – and complications may come – you stand a great chance of doing very well indeed. Spirituality, career and travel are highlighted topics. Maintaining the balance is necessary. SCORPIO Oct 23 - Nov 21 Lord Mars is retrograding and moving very slowly through Scorpio. Mars represents fire and we know fire can be a great friend or a very bad enemy. The best use of this dynamic power is to harness, direct and focus it on your deepest desires and objectives. Anger, frustration and being impatient won’t work. SAGITTARIUS Nov 22 - Dec 21 Generally, Sagittarius is very good at seeing the overall game and its outcome. Now you may be in a state of mind in which you may not know how to go. Everything is in a state of flux and change and some sacrifices will have to be made in order to bring peace of mind. CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 19 When the mountain goat prepares to make his leap to the next ledge, he can barely afford any miscalculations. He’s serious, focused and deliberate in his movements. Now, life is that way for you and it would be wise to play the long game. Life is destined to become very interesting in the next few years. AQUARIUS Jan 20 - Feb 19 Now, you must deliberate and contemplate what is most important and valuable to you. Nobody likes the taste of castor oil, but its healing effects are well known. Now is the time to let go of what is not worthy or wise. Spiritual, social and legal battles are on board now. PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20 We are here for spiritual emancipation, liberation and freedom from the drudgery of our earthly existence. Name, fame and wealth will not bring peace of mind or inner tranquillity. Everything is in a state of change and you must find your way through the quagmire. Love is the way and love is the answer. j

Universe Within Gwen Randall-Young



Out of the maze into amazing

o many of my clients really want to grow. They want to change old patterns and evolve to a new level. They have read the books and understand the principles. They try to recognize and avoid ego reactions, think positively and visualize what they want. The problem is that some of them have been doing this for a very long time and still struggle with the old ways. They say they have been asking and asking for a sign or some guidance. What I see are patterns that may have existed throughout their entire lives and perhaps are even held over from past lives. It is often subconscious. It is like they are in a maze; they know there is an outside, but they keep going down the same pathways and hitting dead ends. They often explore writings, attend workshops and hold on to what some leader said is the way, yet change remains elusive. That is because the answers are not ‘out there.’ There is no ‘out there.’ Only the mind perceives it that way. Quantum physicists tell us we are all connected and that we are mainly energy and we influence the quantum field as it does us. We are like neutrinos in a quantum field, not separate from it.

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Gwen Randall-Young is an author and psychotherapist in private practice. For articles and information about her books, “Deep Powerful Change” hypnosis CDs and “Creating Effective Relationships” series, visit and “Like” Gwen on Facebook.

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Unaware of that, we bumble around in our little thought world thinking the old Newtonian way and wonder why things stay the same. It is like having a computer that is not connected to the internet. All we can do is work with what is already on that computer. When we connect with the larger system, we can do almost anything. However, if we want to install a new and better program on our computer, we have to disable the old one. That means we have to let go of all the negative hurting or hurtful thoughts we have been carrying. If we keep thinking the old thoughts, viewing the world from a polarized position, being judgmental of others and being influenced by our ego, we cannot expect to draw upon the resources of the larger field. We must connect to it. We do this by quieting the mind chatter. Even if it is chattering about growth, it is still chattering. When we create inner silence – as when meditating – that is when we connect with the bigger field. It is like plugging into a power source to recharge. As you do that regularly, carry that stillness with you throughout the day and imagine that all you wish to be is already there. Like changing a costume, you can toss away the old version of you and start running the new one right now. It doesn’t depend on what others do or how they react. Stop the negative thoughts, limiting beliefs, self-doubt and criticism. This can be the hardest part because that program has been around a long while. When the thoughts come, practise thought-stopping. Replace the negative thought with a positive one. Be gentle and in integrity with those who annoy you. Step out of the power struggle and try to see what they really need. Do not try to micromanage others. By keeping more silence, you will become more aware of how ego sabotages your best intentions. You have the power to change that. As you step out of that old familiar maze with its frustrations, dead ends and the tendency to end up back where you started, you will step out of the maze – and into amazing! j


BC’s Code Red housing crisis

out of reach & out of control by Dr. Paul Kershaw and Anita Minh Generation Squeeze is a project cohosted by the University of British Columbia and the Association for Generational Equity (AGE), a national non-profit. Generation Squeeze began as a University of British Columbia project researching generational inequality in Canada. On Wednesday May 25th, Generation Squeeze launched the Code Red Campaign to address the housing affordability crisis, with a particular (but not exclusive) emphasis on BC.


oming out of the Great Depression and World War II, many Canadians could not afford a doctor – especially in Saskatchewan. It’s no coincidence that the father of Canadian Medical Care, the great Tommy Douglas, had his roots in that prairie province. The gravity of circumstances in Saskatchewan motivated Mr. Douglas to dream differently for our country about how we might pay for and provide access to medical care. Eventually, his dream awoke a nation to the broader pan-Canadian problem of unaffordable health care. And over time, his dream became our identity. [We] Canadians now define ourselves in large part by our commitments to publicly provided medical care. We define ourselves

by a noble policy adaptation to a problem that first reached intolerable limits in a particular region. We face a similar scenario today with respect to housing. Between 1976 and 1980, the average cost of a Canadian home was $199,182, after adjusting for inflation and reporting the historical prices in 2014 dollars. The average price in 2014 was $408,068. This means the average home doubled in price across the country. In British Columbia, the average cost more than doubled, surpassing $568,000. In Metro Vancouver, the average price more than tripled, reaching $813,000. BC Assessment (2015) has since reported that the province witnessed strong growth in housing prices again in 2015. The Economist (2015) magazine routinely ranks Vancouver among the most livable cities on the planet. In this study, we challenge the Economist and other commentators to reassess this ranking from the standpoint of young adults who grew up or trained in the region. This study will show that Vancouver is now the most difficult city in the country in which to make a home as a young adult. Markus Moos previously described “generationed spaces” emerging in the Vancouver housing market. We think the data show that

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Housing crisis newsbites



ffordability” is a Lower Mainland and Victoria buzzword. But growing cries for BC’s government to do something about foreign real estate investment are falling on deaf ears. When asked why the BC Liberals aren’t doing more, Housing Minister Rich Coleman said, “I don’t worry about that noise that comes with it because that’s just noise. I guess some people just have to get up and whine every day.” Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson’s call for extraordinary taxes on housing speculation was rejected outright by Christy Clark, who argued it could wipe out billions in home equity.

Cartoon by Geoff Olson. Originally appeared in the Vancouver Courier.

these patterns risk turning the city into a generational ghost town – one in which the vast majority of young people cannot house a family in anything resembling the norms that were taken for granted a generation ago. The situation is not much better throughout the Metro region. And while the outskirts of the region become bedroom communities for more central parts of the metropolis, this adaptation comes at the cost of long commutes, tightening the vice grip

squeezing many young residents for time and money. Vancouver is a canary in the national coal mine. While our study will show the housing problem is particularly grave in Metro Vancouver, the resulting lessons are national in scope. Among the factors driving housing prices to double across the country are straightforward supply and demand issues. In 1976, Canada’s population was 22 million and less urban. Today, our popula-

by Bruce Mason

At press time, she announced Nu Stream Realty and Sutton West Coast Realty would be part of her current trade mission. “Bad optics... to take brokerage firms along on a trip to Asia when people are very concerned about the extent to which foreign capital is driving up prices here,” says UBC Business Prof. Tsur Somerville. But ‘Clark and Co.’ has dug in its heels, unlike government response in every other hot, global housing market. A year ago, LIU Fei, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Vancouver, reported, “In this situation, the Chinese government would come out

and say, ‘Now, we should put some quota on the houses for those with low-incomes.’ This is the regulation in China.” Andrew MacLeod, who chronicles BC’s stark and growing inequity, says, “BC’s economic growth may be leading Canada as the provincial government frequently reminds us, but it’s little comfort to the many people who are struggling to afford a place to live, coping with high debt payments and receiving stagnating wages.” His book, A Better Place on Earth, has just earned the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness (see Common Ground review, July, 2015). j

tion is over 35 million (Statistics Canada 2014) and we converge more in urban settings in search of employment. With horizontal space in our urban cities a limited commodity, growing demand for a constrained supply has increased prices, while driving developers and buyers to look upward in search of space, often in skyscrapers. This trend is not likely to change in any dramatic way. Even as birth rates remain below replacement rates, our population will not be shrinking. Even as Boomers

Vancouver is now the most difficult city in the country in which to make a home as a young adult.

Excerpted from the study Code Red: Rethinking Canadian Housing Policy (2016) by Paul Kershaw and Anita Minh. See the full study at Generation Squeeze, www.gensqueeze. ca/resources Paul Kershaw PhD is the founder of the Generation Squeeze campaign. He is a farmer morning and night. By day, he is a University of BC professor, public speaker, volunteer and regular media contributor. Anita Minh MSc joined Generation Squeeze after completing her masters in epidemiology at UBC. As a researcher and advocate, Anita focuses her professional and public service activities on addressing health and social inequities faced by young people.

The Code Red Campaign summary by Eric Swanson


eneration Squeeze, an umbrella effort to increase the political clout of Canadians in their 20s to 40s, has launched what they’re calling the Code Red Campaign. Though all levels of government have an important role to play in ensuring people have a decent shot at affording a suitable home, the campaign is timed to coincide with the lead-up to the next BC provincial election and provincial policy will temporarily take centre-stage. The good news is there is no shortage of specific policy options to meaningfully address the crisis. On this front, Generation Squeeze has contributed to the public dialogue by releasing a detailed report that includes 10 policy propositions, ranging from those already on table – like additional taxes on foreign investors and speculators – to more provocative alterations to our property tax system. The report also recognizes the tight ties between housing and transportation and reiterates the call for additional investments in families with young children to ensure that child care no longer risks costing as much as a second mortgage. As the next BC election draws closer, the Code Red campaign will contribute to a public debate over the best specific policy options. However, to start, the campaign is organizing around what they hope is a bedrock, commonground policy principle of Homes First. Homes First Code Red organizers describe the Homes First principle this way: Canada’s housing market should be regulated primarily to provide an efficient supply of affordable, suitable homes for community members and families to live in. The current excesses in the use of local housing as windfall investment vehicles and places to park [often international] capital need to be immediately curbed. Petition, pledges, window signs & lights A Homes First petition has just begun to circulate, which you can sign at

As the campaign progresses, BC election candidates will be called upon to support the principle of Homes First by signing an online political pledge and organizers will be counting on members of the public to ask their local candidates to participate. The name Code Red communicates a state of emergency/crisis and is being paired with a siren symbol in campaign window signs and other materials. Inspired by the False Creek Residents urban parkland campaign, Code Red lights are also being distributed for people to place in their porches/balconies/ windows/etc. as an additional way to show support. Resources and time The reality of the affordability crisis is that many British Columbians are squeezed for time and money. Occupied with the responsibilities of work, school, family and life, it can be difficult to find the time and energy to get involved. At the same time, securing meaningful change takes resources. Lots of resources. Both money and time. In recognition of those simultaneous realities, Generation Squeeze is raising monthly contributions to keep the Code Red network coordinated and effective. When you don’t have time, the network will work for you and when you do, they’ll work with you. In either case, funds are required. Members of the public are invited to contribute as little as $1.87 per month to help pay for organizers and materials. See

donate Volunteering Code Red activities will expand through the summer and fall, with more and more opportunities to get involved. However, Generation Squeeze is stressing that the first step is raising sufficient funding to pay for organizers to make those additional activities possible. Read the full Code Red report and learn more about this new entry into the housing debate at j

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age and eventually sell their homes, it is unlikely there will be a sudden price “correction” on a scale that reverses the doubling of housing prices since 1976 – when the majority of Boomers came of age as young adults. Why? Because Canada is part of a global population that is now over seven billion; and this global population faces increasing threats from climate change, let alone war and economic hardship in particular regions. We can therefore anticipate that people from across the globe will turn their attention to the second largest geographic country on the planet, with a strong, peaceful, democratic tradition and a reasonably solid economy. This will sustain, if not increase, demand for housing in the years ahead, most likely in our urban centres where employment is concentrated. Fortunately, our national history shows there is reason for Canadians to feel confident that we can and will adapt. Vancouver is to housing today what Saskatchewan was to medical care in the 1940s and 50s. From within the insupportable housing situation facing generations of young people in Vancouver, we must search for the vision that motivated the likes of Tommy Douglas to dream differently for our country. We must awaken the nation to the pan-Canadian problem of housing prices that stymy entire generations. Over time, this dream may also become part of our identity – the kind of national commitment to policy adaptation that makes us proud to be Canadian.

To foreshadow the looming risks for the country, we organize the study into three parts. The first documents how housing prices have changed across Canada, British Columbia, Metro Toronto and Metro Vancouver relative to earnings for young adults. We examine how these changes have increased the number of years that people must work to save a down payment today compared to 1976; and have increased the number of months of work required each year to pay the annual average mortgage. We compare what these changes mean for wealth accumulation and debt for Canadians of different ages. In part two, we shine a light on the reality of living today in Metro Vancouver specifically. Following the BC Real Estate Association (2015), we agree the dialogue should not be overly distracted by the influence that multi-million dollar home purchases have on the “average” price. Accordingly, we examine the stock of housing available below the average price of $813,000, paying particular attention to housing up to $500,000 across the region, and by city within Metro Vancouver. The third part moves from describing the problem to search for solutions. In anticipation of the national housing strategy proposed on the campaign trail by the new federal Liberal government, we offer 10 propositions to stimulate dialogue in Canada about what it will take to rethink housing policy for generations. j


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programs begin every September and March. Curriculum includes Anatomy & Kinesiology, Swedish, Lomilomi, Hydro & Spa Treatments, Deep Tissue & NMT, Assessment & Treatments, Shiatsu, Sports & Therapeutic Exercise, Reflexology, Body/Mind Integration and a fully supervised public clinic. The school is located on the island of Maui, where the warm

ocean, gentle climate and lush tropical beauty encourage deep relaxation and exploration of the healing process. Student visas available for 7 and 12 month programs. For more information and a free catalog, write Maui School of Therapeutic Massage, PO Box 1891, Makawao, Hawaii 96768. Phone: 808-572-1888 or visit our website at


Most courses tax deductible

Become a Clinical Hypnotherapist


Information to change the world

Reflexology Training Courses Reflexology is taught as an intuitive healing art for professional practice, or, for use with friends and family. Courses provide structure that allows you to develop your own intuitive sense in your reflexology practice. We have a holistic orientation. Holistic Reflexology: An Introduction -

Informational evening talks: $10. See Datebook. Basic Foot, Hand or Ear Reflexology Certificate Weekend Courses - Twenty hours expert instruction, plus 40 hours practicum and 10 hours home study prepare you to practice reflexology competently. $395. Advanced Reflexology Certificate Courses - Expand your knowledge and develop your

effectiveness to a professional level. $395. Courses offered year round. See Datebook. Courses accredited RABC, and RAC. Pacific Institute of Reflexology 535 West 10th Ave. @ Cambie, Vancouver 604-875-8818 / Toll free: 1-800-688-9748 Email:

2016 is your year to become an expert Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist. Imagine supporting people as they let go of depression, anxiety, fears and phobias, and helping people quit smoking and lose weight. Imagine being able to have your own

business, set your own hours, and building a reputation as the expert. As a certified clinical hypnotherapist, you can definitely do all of this and more. Is it time to start building a career that allows you to make a difference as well as earn a great living?

To find out if a career in hypnotherapy is for you, contact Corinne at 604-544-6644 or visit

Free online library with 20,000+ articles, books and films about justice, freedom, and democracy. Focus on creating alternatives and working together for a better world. Plus social justice calendar, directory of groups and websites.

Edison Institute of


1-800-456-9313 •

Training Nutrition Professionals Worldwide. The most complete holistic nutrition correspondence course. Introductory Course, Practitioner & Advanced Diploma in Nutrition. Accredited by Canadian & U.S. nutrition associations. Call for our course catalogue.



Most courses tax deductible Women’s Wellness Program

Valerie Kemp CranioSacral Barbara Brennan Healing Lymph Drainage Therapy


Expect Wonders! 31 Years Clinical Experience Extended Care & MSP Accepted

116 - 828 West 8th Ave Vancouver: 604-876-8618

health concerns and preferences. Our holistic approach can assist you to address the source of your disease or discomfort, and/or, simply indulge in blissful relaxation. Our sessions enable you to embrace your natural health and vitality. Reflexology safely complements all other therapies. One-hour private sessions: $65, or 5/$275.

Student Clinic: Tuesday evenings. Rejuvenate yourself, you deserve it!!! 1hr sessions only $20. Books, charts and self-help tools available. Enquire about franchise opportunities. Pacific Institute of Reflexology 535 West 10th Ave. @ Cambie, Vancouver 604-875-8818 Email:

Tianyu Zhang, R.Ac, is a licensed acupuncturist who specializes in treating female patients with various conditions relating to • infertility • white hair and grey hair • wrinkle reduction • dysmenorrhea (menstrual pain) • hypothyroidism

• insomnia • menopause • snoring

Tianyu Zhang, R.Ac Wellspring Clinic King Edward Mall 916 West King Edward Avenue Vancouver 604-737-7876

Specializing in bodywork and healing for newborns and children, pregnancy, women’s and men’s issues, stress and trauma, life’s challenges, personal em-powerment, spiritual expansion, alignment and guidance, heart’s longing,

passion, intention and soul purpose, preand post-dentistry, pre-and post-surgery, accidents and falls, dislocations, broken bones, sports injuries and car accidents, etc. through CranioSacral Therapy, Barbara Brennan Healing, Somato Emotional

Release, Lymph Drainage Therapy, Myofascial Unwinding etc. Long-distance healing also available.

Dr. Peter Zhou, is a qualified MD and a former hospital director in China. He has been practicing in Vancouver since 1997, treating skin and pain disorders with a 95% success rate. Patients from England, Norway, France, Australia, Singapore, Fiji and Japan have sought his treatments.

Skin Disorders • Eczema • Skin rashes • Skin allergies • Psoriasis • Rosacea • Dermatitis

Pain & Other Disorders • Neck and back pain • Bell’s palsy (highly effective) • Headache, Sciatica • Arthritis, Tendonitis • Disc Syndrome • Stress and Depression Please read our Online Testimonials.

She graduate from Anhui College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in 1985. She has been working in the field of TCM since then. Please call to book your appointment.

• Acne • Shingles • Herpes • Hives • Vitiligo • Wart

For information and appointments call 604-739-9916.

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Registered Doctor of TCM Former Instructor of TCM at Langara College

Reflexology: The Core of Natural Healing Reflexology is practiced as a potent, safe way to free you from stress and tension, and relieve your pain and discomfort. Stimulation of your foot, hand or ear reflexes will deeply relax you to revitalize your whole body, and thereby facilitate natural healing. Let us tailormake your session to address your unique



Wellspring Vision Improvement Program (WVIP) was developed in 1999 by Dr. Weidong Yu, a world renowned Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine. WVIP is a comprehensive Holistic health program based on Chinese herbal medicine, Acupuncture, Acupressure, Qigong, Food and Nutrition. WVIP may be

Red Rose Healer

Red Rose Healing, an ancient Sufi Healing technique using Divine Spiritual Power to remove suffering from negative energies causing physical and mental sickness. Healing done in person or long distance. NEW: free trial meditation weekend training available, by appointment only. 604-418-1673

Wellspring Vision Improvement Program

Making a positive difference

Dr. Weidong Yu

beneficial for patients with conditions such as: * Retinitis Pigmentosa * Macular degeneration * Glaucoma * Eye Bleeding

* Red eyes, Dry eyes * Eye fatigue * Far sightedness * Blurry Vision

THE HAPPY COLON since 2000 Elena Lopez

I-ACT certified colon hydrotherapist

For appointment, please call 604-737-7876 Dr. Weidong Yu, Dr.TCM Wellspring Clinic 916 West King Edward Ave. (south east corner of King Edward Mall at Oak & King Edward) Vancouver, BC

Colon Hydrotherapy dates back to the Egyptians who used it in its most basic form, the enema. Modern equipment today uses purified water at preset pressure and temperature to cleanse the large intestine (colon). By appointment only: 604-525-8400 # 360 - 522 7th St., New Westminster, B.C.

INTUITIVE ARTS DR. ANNE MCMURTRY Channelled Readings, Reiki & Crystal Healing ANNE’S ABILITY opens a line of communication between you and your spiritual guides allowing them to speak directly to you. Reiki and crystal healings and workshops are also available. 604-734-8219 VANCOUVER

As long as you think that the cause of your problem is “out there”– as long as you think that anyone or anything is responsible for your suffering – the situation is hopeless. It means that you are forever in the role of victim, that you’re suffering in paradise. - Byron Katie NUTRITION Multiple award winner, Becoming Vegan: Express Edition and (for health professionals) the new Becoming Vegan: Comprehensive Edition. Bestselling classics by Brenda Davis & Vesanto Melina. Online & through bookstores.

Consultation w ith dietitian/author Vesanto Melina. Personalized consultation ($282 for 2-1/2 hours) includes nutritional analysis; recipes; menu planning; for busy people; pregnancy; children, seniors. 778-379-5377


Therapy of the Whole Person John Arnold Ph.D. Therapist / Counselor since 1975


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ARE YOU READY FOR A CHANGE? Lorraine Milardo Bennington M.Ed. (Counselling) Reg. Psychologist #815

Louise Evans B.A., M.ED., C.HT., R.C.C.

Hypnotherapy & Counselling 18

Only by Working With the Whole Person Can You Achieve Truly Permanent and Effective Change. If problems and issues keep popping up in your life and you are STILL STUCK, it is

because you have not gotten to the root causes. Completion of any problem comes only when you have resolved your issues physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually and the underlying reasons for repetitive patterns of behavior are uncovered and resolved.

If you are fed up and want to do something radical about your predicament, give me a call 604-261-2788 or visit my web page at www.johnarnoldphd-reichianandyogic

You can overcome your limiting beliefs and open up to your joy! Success Coaching Hypnotherapy - Weight Loss/Stop Smoking, Athletic performance, Blocks to Success/Fear of failure, Age regression, Anxiety, Phobias Couples Counselling

Lorraine Milardo Bennington, success coach, psychologist and hypnotherapist, has been practising hypnosis for over 30 years and skillfully integrates intuition and hypnotherapy into her coaching and counselling practice. Lorraine gently guides people in the process of transformation, assisting

them to connect with their higher selves and to reclaim joy and personal power in their lives. Lorraine has returned to Vancouver after 10 years living, studying and working on Kauai and Maui. 604-871-4342

JUNE SPECIAL 2 sessions on weight management for the price of one Treatment that’s affordable, fast and effective. Clinical hypnosis. Extended health coverage. For other issues addressed see Phone 604.773.5595 or 604.522.0257

Life Between Lives™

“For those of us who have had the opportunity to actually see our immortality, a new depth of self understanding and empowerment emerges.” - from “Journey of Souls” by Dr. Michael Newton, LBL Founder. Offices: West Vancouver and Gibsons

Past Lives & Spiritual Regressions Rifa Hodgson, CCHT

The first certified & practicing LBL therapist in Canada

1-888-606-TIME (8463)




3243 West Broadway 604-734-5881 Chai Tea House Upstairs & 2nd location 4433 Main Street @ 28th 604-879-2020

“East Is East is a place where you are encouraged to talk to your neighbours. This is definitely not the Ritz, but it certainly is Kits. From plumbers to publishers, hippies to generation whatever, this place has special appeal.” - Owen Williams, Common Ground Visit our new location 4433 Main Street @ 28th 879-2020

Indian Cuisine Eat in / Take out

2313 Main Street

Savour an Indian culinary experience while enveloped in the mysterious ragas of classical Indian music. Winner of West Ender’s Silver Medal for Best Indian Restaurant 2004-2005. Delicious selection of vegetarian and vegan specialties. Open 7 days a week for lunch & dinner. 2313 Main St., Vancouver 604.872.8779


Sincerity makes the very least person to be of more value than the most talented hypocrite. – Charles Spurgeon


T h e


The Naam Vegetarian Restaurant For years voted “Best Vegetarian” in the Georgia Straight and in Vancouver Magazine’s “Readers’ Choice”. Open seven days a week, 24 hours, licensed, wood fireplace, heated patio, live music at dinner. 2724 West 4th Ave. 604-738-7151.

Readers respond to Christy’s hits and misses

by Bruce Mason


“It’s madness. And I blame our government. Yes, I am a realtor, but it is really hard to watch if you are not hooked into the greed aspect of lining your own pockets,” she added. One reader (unidentified) thinks our May article won’t make a difference. She e-mailed, “Once again – a male rant in print. How boring. Shame on you. When it comes time to vote? Your sexist article won’t stand a chance with anything people actually use to base decisions upon.”

The “fund-raising stipend” practice is banned in all other provinces – except Saskatchewan – and by the federal government. Two-thirds of BC residents believe the annual additional payout is “unjustified” and want to see an end to private fundraisers … 90 percent – nine out of 10 people in BC – favour limits on campaign contributions. However, more than half of those polled in another recent Insights West story report they are “closely” following the “stipend” issue in which Christy Clark was paid $50,000 in cash-for-access from fund-raising by her own Liberal Party. That “tops up” a $195,468.20 annual salary, four times the average yearly earning in BC and 18 times the $906-a-month benefit for a person

with disabilities, in the province with the lowest minimum wage and disgraceful child poverty numbers. The “fund-raising stipend” practice is banned in all other provinces – except Saskatchewan – and by the federal government. Two-thirds of BC residents believe the annual additional payout is “unjustified” and want to see an end to private fundraisers. More than three-quarters of us like the idea of a cap on campaign contributions and here’s the kicker: 90 percent – nine out of 10 people in BC – favour limits on campaign contributions. Max Cameron, director of UBC’s Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions has written, “The Conflict of Interest Commissioner’s finding – that taking a stipend from the proceeds of private fundraisers is lawful – does not mean it is the right thing to do.” He lists three dangers: big money is bad for the need to balance public policy guided by public interest, if only by creating presumption of partisan or personal gain; that it is bad for democracy, leading to institutional corruption when politicians spend more time shilling for donations than representing their constituents; and finally that it is bad for politics. It “creates the impression, now widespread in British Columbia, that ordinary people don’t count. It fosters disengagement and cynicism.” In a late May National Post opinion piece, Cameron concluded, “Just like in federal politics, party and union contributions should be banned and individual contributions should be limited, but also matched with public money. Yes, this means paying for political parties out of the public purse. Call it insurance against oligarchy.” In January of 2013, Clark spoke about corporate donations from outside BC: “Remember this; There are companies that are based in Toronto, that are based in Calgary, that are based all across the country that have a big investment in making sure that British Columbia succeeds.” Your comments? Email j

JUNE 2 016

inety percent of the people in BC have concluded that corporations shape public policy; half think big money has the most clout politically and a whopping 68 percent say citizens have little influence over their own government. Right here, right now. Those are some of the findings in a recent Insights West poll. Surely, it’s past time to stop calling our elected officials “our leaders.” We hire and pay them as representatives to act in our interests – not their own or their wellheeled donors. The job description is “public service” and majority opinion is they aren’t up to the task. In less than a year, BC voters will decide if Christy Clark keeps her job and her cabal continues to run our province. However, that’s a light year in politics; Christy and company are betting on our poor memories. As a refresher, last month Common Ground published “Christy Clark’s biggest hits, or misses” and asked for your comments. Myrle McIntosh of White Rock wrote expressing that Common Ground articles are “significant and critical.” She sent Premier Clark a copy, also drawing attention to our interview with Jane Goodall, “just to let her know how the real people of the world live and direct their energies.” A Surrey realtor (we’ve withheld her name) wrote, “Great article.” She focused on the “inaction on the housing crisis fuelled by foreign buyers. Clearly, Christy Clark and Bob Rennie haven’t solved the problem with their weak measures and the money just keeps pouring in. We need to do more like other countries to stop it. Yesterday, at a professional development course, we discussed bags of cash being offered to agents to accept offers in competing (multiple offer) situations. One realtor was offered a cigar box of cash to accept an offer. Another agent brings an offer to purchase a property with no price and says to the seller, ‘You write the price.’




Big win over Bell But what’s next for Canada’s telecom market?

s wins go, this one was a doozy. Following months of debate, all eyes were on Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains as he weighed whether or not to give Bell, and a tiny handful of other telecom behemoths, an effective monopoly over fibre Internet services in Canada. In a landmark decision, Minister Bains upheld a key CRTC ruling that will ensure smaller, more affordable providers can offer fibre Internet services on a level playing field with the giant telcos. It’s difficult to understate just how big a win this is; fibre is critically important for the future of Canada’s Internet, offering speeds up to 50 times faster than current average broadband connections. Fibre will, in short, revolutionize the Internet, opening the potential for myriad new uses in healthcare, education and cultural activities that are impossible with our current broadband speeds. Nor did this big win come without a big fight. Almost 80,000 Canadians came together to sign petitions, write to elected officials and work hard to ensure Bell didn’t succeed in creating a monopoly over this vital service. Key public figures and institutions, including Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Toronto’s City Council, played a vital role in helping beat back Bell’s intensive lobbying efforts.

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…Subway from p.5



cars and an expansion of electric trolley buses that would electrify the transit system across the city and region. When looking at the capital costs, the best options are obvious. The subway is $350 million per km; streetcars are $20 - $40 million per km and electric trolley buses (both rapid lines and local services) are only $1 million per km plus $1 million per articulated double trolley bus. Making the best use of the most affordable options should be the priority to complete a broad and integrated plan servicing the entire city, not just select property developer nodes. Electric trolley buses could carry the bulk of the network since they are the most affordable. Streetcars could be used in areas where they are most suited, such as the Arbutus right-of-way that has just been purchased by the city from CP Rail, and which could be expanded along the original inter-urban route to the Fraser Valley. The City of Vancouver is particularly suited to this option since Vancouver was developed before the broad use of the automobile. It was designed around the streetcar system with the main arterials accessible within a five to 10 minute walk from any location, thus Vancouver inherently has a transit oriented land use pattern. All it needs is adequate, improved trolley bus or streetcar transit service throughout the grid. The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN), an umbrella group of 26 resident associations and communities across Vancouver, has made the call for options

Bains’ decision was important for another reason too: it was his first big call as Canada’s new Innovation Minister and therefore widely seen as a litmus test for the future direction of federal telecom policy. And there is certainly no shortage of big challenges facing the government and the CRTC right now.

Fibre will, in short, revolutionize the Internet, opening the potential for myriad new uses. Firstly, Bell, with its seemingly insatiable appetite to crush smaller competitors has set its sights on gobbling up Manitoba’s MTS. This is unsurprising as MTS is a big part of the reason why Manitobans pay so much less than most other Canadians for wireless Internet. The Competition Bureau will have a key role to play in assessing this deal, as will Innovation Canada, which will need to approve any transfer of spectrum licences from MTS to Bell. Secondly, Bains’ fibre Internet decision comes at a time when Canadians are already facing major challenges with affordability, as outlined in last month’s column. When four in 10 low income Canadians can-

ɶɶ For a fraction of the cost of a subway on Broadway, we could have streetcars and an expansion of electric trolley buses that would electrify the transit system across the city and region. like this to be considered with a better consultation process to establish the appropriate best value plan to serve the public interest. Unfortunately, rather than serving the city with affordable, sustainable transit for the people, the city and province are promoting a subway in order to direct and shape land use for the major developers. This would transform the affected communities into a development corridor from 16th Avenue to the waterfront and from Commercial Drive to UBC, including nodal land use patterns with Metrotown-scale tower development at stations. Using development to fund this plan will give further density bonuses to large developers, which may include

not afford home Internet because of Big Telecom’s high prices, we clearly need a coordinated approach from the CRTC and the new government to get prices down. Thirdly, many Canadians living outside the big cities find it next to impossible to obtain a quality, high-speed Internet service, regardless of the price. Although Minister Bains has promised to invest $500 million in rural Internet, much more will be needed to ensure we don’t leave rural and northern Canadians behind. Finally, between the failure of smaller providers, increased market concentration and apparent lack of willingness by the government to stand up for net neutrality, there’s a real danger that Canadians will be left with wireless services that are slower, more expensive and more locked-down than anywhere else in the industrialized world. Again, Big Telecom is pushing us in the wrong direction and Canadians deserve a government and CRTC willing to push back. OpenMedia will be working for Canadians every step of the way. Follow us at and at j David Christopher is communications manager with OpenMedia, which works to keep the Internet open, affordable and surveillance-free.

Public Private Partnerships (P3s). The transit manufacturers, builders and developers would benefit the most from this scheme. They also contribute to financing election campaigns at all levels of government and then lobby to get a return on their investment. We need to change direction and: • Provide more affordable electric rapid and local transit options using trolley buses and streetcars. • Fund the plan with carbon taxes, gas taxes and mileagebased vehicle fees. • Use neighbourhood-based planning to ensure development suits the local context for liveability rather than imposing a concrete jungle of towers designed for laundering foreign capital onto established communities. • Build more affordable housing for students, staff and faculty at UBC to reduce the need to commute rather than build more high-end condos. • Ensure every stage of planning has a transparent, democratic process. Transit should be about transporting people and serving communities; not used as a tool to impose development that undermines established community planning. It is high time for a democratic, affordable and sustainable transit plan. j Elizabeth Murphy is a private sector project manager and a former Property Development Officer for the City of Vancouver’s Housing & Properties Department and for BC Housing.

Officail opening of United Nations Conference on Human Habitation. Photo by Jane Cooper …Habitat from p.2

Lindsay Brown is a Vancouver designer, civic pot-stirrer, and an art and design critic. She founded and runs the artisanal textile company Ouno Design and its blog, and was co-founder of the Vancouver Not Vegas coalition which halted the expansion of a mega-casino in downtown Vancouver in 2011. Her book Habitat ’76 will be out with Black Dog Publishing in Fall 2016. Info at

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standards. He said that even by 1976 standards it was pretty radical, but that if it had been heeded, we would not be seeing the current housing crisis in Canadian and international cities. “It’s indecent what’s happening in Canadian cities now,” he remarked to me once. In what sometimes looks like foreshadowing, all five hangars had come down by the end of 1979 despite sustained citizen efforts to convince the Parks Board and City Hall to save them. Joseph Roberts tells me that he was involved in an attempt to occupy the hangars that involved hacksawing through a chain on the door to liberate the hanger but the police showed up and dispersed the protestors. The beautiful theatre decorated with the Bill Reid mural (Hangar 3) was demolished first. Both the Plenary Hall (Hangar 5) and Hangar 6 (which had been filled with beautiful wooden meeting rooms) were dismantled for parts. Efforts continued to try to save the two larger remaining hangars, which were set back from the seashore (Hangar 8, Exhibition Hall and Hangar 7, Margraret Tredeau and other dignitaries at Worlds First Water March, June 6, the bar and social centre). But Habitat 1976, Jericho Beach, led by Trudeau and Margaret Mead. Mead, not the two hangars were mysterishown, was unable to walk the whole distance: 6 km, the average walked by ously arsoned a month apart, the world’s poor for water. UN Habitat Secretariat member George Muhoho on two especially foggy days in at left, and Barney Danson, the President of the official conference (and then October and November of 1979 Min. of Urban Affairs) at right. Photo Collection of Paul Manning when the beach was deserted. [That year Margaret Thatcher was elected.] The Vancouver Declaration had affirmed out of the Tommy Douglas government in Saskatchewan the right of citizens to public space and their built heriand written Canada’s very first environmental policy in the tage, but the hangars came down anyway. late 1960s—from scratch. I asked Jim last year whether he This year in Vancouver people seem to be marking the thought the Vancouver Declaration seemed radical during anniversary of Expo 86, but Habitat ’76 is still shrouded the conference, because it certainly seemed so by 2015 though it was passed late at night on June 11 by a majority vote. (It’s a fascinating story, but you’ll have to read the book.) Despite this setback, the world’s nations took home with them the declaration and its implementation plan, “64 Recommendations for National Action.” Jim MacNeil was the Commissioner-General of the Canadian Habitat Secretariat. A brilliant policy writer, Jim had come

in amnesia. Expo ’86 gave us Concord Pacific and condo development; Habitat had a different, subtler influence on the culture and politics of Vancouver. (It also helped lead to the construction of Granville Island, but that’s another story.) It’s a seeming paradox that despite the lack of public awareness of Habitat, there are thousands of Vancouverites and alumni around the world for whom Habitat ’76 is not merely a vivid memory but the single event that most altered or even set their life’s trajectory. UN-Habitat, as it is now called, has a mandate to “promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all.” The UN designates the first Monday of October every year as World Habitat Day. Habitat III will take place shortly after in mid-October 2016 in Quito, Ecuador. It remains to be seen if UN-Habitat has the will to incorporate in its new declaration the ambitious principles and action plans that were set out in Vancouver in 1976 and reaffirmed in Istanbul in 1996. More important it is to be hoped that it try to implement those plans this time, because as Margaret Trudeau said in her key speech at Habitat Forum, “we don’t want promises; we want commitment. We want action.” The conflict within the UN (and governments), as always, is between those who focus on rights – the ideas of The Right to the City and of housing as a human right – and those who focus primarily on private sector solutions and financing in a deregulated environment. As anyone in Vancouver knows, leaving housing and city-building to the private sector has had disastrous consequences. It is shameful that the city that hosted Habitat, and for which the Vancouver Declaration is named, continues to preach sustainability goals but suffers from the second worst unaffordability in the world and the highest urban child poverty in the country. When I set out to write this book, I was prepared to have my rosy childhood view of Habitat ’76 corrected by the adults who attended. But I was unable to find a single person, from Iraq to England to India to Chile, who didn’t say that that conference was a defining moment in their lives and careers. As one activist from South America told me, “the strands all existed before Habitat, but that’s they were all woven together.” And most of them mention that we were right in 1976—about everything from solar energy to stemming property speculation to the fact that by the end of the twentieth century more deaths would be caused by lack of clean drinking water than war. We seem to have taken a forty-year detour, and are in many ways back where we started. Let’s hope Habitat III stays true to Habitat I and puts the rights of people over capital in human settlements. j


Events JUN 9-12 Inner Engineering with Sadhguru-trained Isha teacher: UBC Asian Centre, 1871 West Mall. FREE INTRO Thursday 6:30-7:30PM Vancouver@, 604-644-5429

Padmavibhushan Pandit Jasraj in concert

For rates & placements email JUN 10-12 “What is Awareness?” a retreat with Dr. Ashwani Kumar. At the Krishnamurti Educational Centre of Canada (near Victoria BC). Info/registration: 250-744-3354, JUN 10-12 Introduction to Foot Reflexology commences Certificate Weekend Training Course. Introduction 7:30PM, $10; Course $395 + GST. Pacific Institute of Reflexology (604) 875-8818, JUN 12 “Organic Gardening: Leave the Earth Better Than You Found It.” Enlightened Living FREE Class by Arjan Stephens at the Meditation & Ecology Centre, 11011 Shell Rd., Richmond, 2PM. To register, call Linda: 604-985-5840. Drop-ins are welcome.

7 pm • Saturday • July 2

Michael J. Fox Theatre • Burnaby Tickets : $40 and $50 Tickets and info:

Asha Lohia : 604-879-8319 Teresa Rehman : 604-527-9917 and with PayPal on PJSOM website (see below)

Tickets also available at:

Shaz Video(Burnaby) - 604-439-0463 Kamal’s Video (Surrey) - 604-592-9777 presented by the Pandit Jasraj School of Music Email: Facebook:

JUN 12 Talk by Claudio Naranjo: “Consciousness Pioneer” 7-9PM, at Bridge & Enrich in Vancouver. $25. Info/register at, 604-737-8858. JUN 12 & 26 Krishnamurti Vancouver Group @ Vancouver Public Library, Board Breakout Room, 350 W. Georgia St. 1-5PM. Free video showing & dialogue! JUN 14 Free talk by Angel Kyodo Sensei: “Radical Dharma” 6:30-8PM, Banyen Books, 3608 W 4th Ave.,, 604-737-8858. JUN 19 Meditation for Spiritual Awareness: FREE Workshop in RICHMOND on the Theory & Practice of JYOTI (Inner Light) Meditation. Science of Spirituality Meditation & Ecology Centre, 11011 Shell Rd., 2PM. To register, call Linda: 604-985-5840. Drop-ins are welcome.

Science of Spirituality ~ FREE WORKSHOPS ~ Drop-ins welcome

JUNE 2 016

Theory and Practice of JYOTI (Inner Light) MEDITATION

Call Linda Sun. June 19, 2-4pm TO REGISTER Meditation & Ecology Centre 604-985-5840 11011 Shell Rd, RICHMOND

Tues. June 21, 6-7pm 535 W. 10 Ave, VANCOUVER P.I.R. Conference Rm downstairs

JUN 21 Meditation for Spiritual Awareness: FREE Workshop in VANCOUVER on the Theory & Practice of JYOTI (Inner Light) Meditation at 535 West 10th Ave., Conference Room, Pacific Institute of Reflexology, 6PM. Free Parking in Van City Parking Lot. To register, call Linda: 604-985-5840. Drop-ins are welcome. JUN 21 & 22 Free Shamanic Power Initiations & Open Houses hosted online & onsite by the Institute of Shamanic Medicine. ONLINE: Wed Jun 21, 7PM. ONSITE VANCOUVER: Thurs Jun 22 & Wed Jul 13, 7:30PM. RSVP by email to info@ Program/Retreats info at JUN 23 The Festival of Humanity - Transmission Meditation, Free Introduction/experience powerful group meditation. 7PM, VPL Central Branch, 350 W. Georgia, Peter Kaye Room. JUL 1, 9 & 10 FREE Ukulele Mini Tutorials: Jul 1, 12-6pm, Coquitlam Town Centre Park as part of the Coquitlam 125 Canada Day Celebration. Learn to play a song or two on the uke in under an hour! (Workshops July 9 & Jul 10.) For all events, email for more info. JUL 2 Padmavibhushan Pandit Jasraj in Concert: 7PM, Michael J. Fox Theatre, Burnaby. Tix $40/$50. Presented by the Pandit Jasraj School of Music. For a list of ticket vendors, see display ad this page. JUL 9 FREE Brock House Summer Fair: Annual fundraiser sale for Brock House Seniors Activity Centre. Handcrafts, thrift, jewellery, art, jams/baked goods. Live music. 10AM-3PM, Jericho Beach, 3875 Point Grey Rd. Info: Raymond Greenwood, 604-351-3450 or email:

In sti tu t

JUL 9 Interested in the legacy of psychic Edgar Cayce? Potluck picnic, @noon, Locarno Beach. See Events at SEABC.ORG for directions or call 604-428-5023. JUL 15-17 Introduction to Foot Reflexology commences Certificate Weekend Training Course. Introduction 7:30PM, $10; Course $395 + GST. Pacific Institute of Reflexology (604) 875-8818, JUL 22-24 “Approaches to Individual Transformation: Buddhism, Krishnamurti and ‘A Course in Miracles’ with Dr. Ted Kneupper. At the Krishnamurti Educational Centre of Canada (near Victoria BC). Info/registration: 250-744-3354, AUG 21 8th Tsleil-Waututh Cultural Arts Festival: 12-7PM, Cates Park North Vancouver. Chief Dan George Stage features Crystal Shawanda, Children of Takaya, Coast Salish dancers & live music. Food, paddling, demonstrations, artisans & more. Info at:, 604-929-3454. AUG 27-28 Become a Certified Life Coach or Executive Coach: This 2-day intensive will teach you everything you need to know to succeed. Only Certified Coaches Federation graduates earn the esteemed Certified Life Coach Practitioner designations. In Vancouver. 866-455-2155 or 403-389-1190. ONGOING June special: Two weight management/ overeating sessions for the price of one. Treatment that’s affordable, fast and effective. Clinical hypnosis. Extended health coverage. With Louise Evans, 604-773-5595 or 604-522-0257.

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The real thing is the real thing

he digital revolution is breaking new ground every day. Technology has a way of doing that. I remember when Hewlett-Packard introduced its first “laptop” computer, which stored a page and a half of writing. It revolutionized my life as a newspaper columnist. I never imagined the steady advances that would lead to today’s powerful laptops, tablets and handheld computers. Once, while filming in a remote BC forest, I wanted to pan from the roots of a cedar tree along the trunk to the top in a single shot. After spending hours rigging wires and pulleys and struggling to keep the heavy camera from swaying as it rose, our crew gave up in frustration. Recently, we used a light GoPro camera mounted under a drone to get a spectacular high-definition shot in a few minutes! The first time I opened YouTube, I was looking for a video of the astounding phenomenon of mucous secretion by a hagfish, a primitive marine animal. To my surprise, I found several postings and as I chose one, a list of several others that might be of interest popped up. Two hours later, I realized I’d been sucked in by an incredible range of films.

The average Canadian kid today spends more

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than six hours a day glued to a screen.

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Excerpted from the original article. David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation. Learn more at

JUNE 2 016

Celebrating 33 Years

When I first heard about virtual reality, I was invited to put on the goggles and experience it. Crude as those first images were compared to what’s available now, I was immersed in the scenes. It was impressive and exciting, but I suggested that people should be wary of unintended consequences because virtual reality could eventually appear better than reality. During a recent visit to Montreal, I had the opportunity to watch the latest iteration of the digital revolution: images in 3D, HD and 360-degree-wrap-around. It was mindboggling. I swam with whales and zoomed through a forest, listening to actual sounds, along with music and narration. As I watched a spectacular mountain forest, a train suddenly appeared, splashing across a lake and then coming straight at me. As my body responded to the all too realistic locomotive, it reached me and exploded into a thousand birds that took off in a glorious cloud. Computer graphics melded seamlessly with actual footage that generated scenes far exceeding reality. I have no doubt virtual reality is going to have a huge impact. We’re just beginning to recognize its potential. But as with all new technology, there will be unintended repercussions, the greatest of which will be further estrangement from nature. Studies show that because people evolved out of nature, we need that connection with the natural world for mental and physical well-being. Author Richard Louv categorizes a suite of childhood problems – including bullying, attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity – as “nature deficit disorder,” induced or worsened by too little physical exposure to nature. The average Canadian kid today spends more than six hours a day glued to a screen – mobile phones, computers, televisions – and less than eight minutes a day outside! Some proponents claim virtual reality will stimulate children to spend more time outside. But why bother when the virtual world seems better than the real one? I’m sure innovation and creativity will continue to drive the technology to new frontiers. I’m just as sure there will be enormous unexpected and damaging consequences if we aren’t careful. j


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hy at Triangle Healing Products is: You will never regret buying d assembled and individually tested, the German-made Bellicon s an example of that quality. ADVERTISEMENT han the mini trampoline it appears to be, the Bellicon Rebounder Focus presents: Triangle Healing ensive research by an engineer, a metallurgist, lymphologists, . Together they created a rebounder that not only givespeople very attain optimum health ATTENTION Helping Triangle Healing Products Mar14_Layout 1 2/17/14 1:30 PM Page 1 c drainage, but also generates a profoundly life-giving electro en used. Simply stated, users find that the up and down moveiane Regan, owner of Triangle Healing Products, researches alternative health ADVERTISEMENT oe raises than jumping—will trigger every cellshe in markets the body into products to help people attain optimum and then cutting-edge Focus presents: Triangle Healing health. TheTriangle Swiss-made IQAir HealthPro Plus is one such product. e, effectively opening up the lymphatic system. Healing received more product reviews than any other air purifier on the iane Regan confirms, “It IMMEDIATE is one of IQAir the has healthiest and#1safest IMPORTANT: High quality market. ItATTENTION is endorsed by the American Lung Association, trusted by hospitals (the water is vital for optimum health ” only one powerful enough to be used in the SARS outbreak), clinically proven as effective for allergic asthma and is 100 percent ozone-free. The filters are not cleaned—they different weight Structured Water Units The all-natural way to water the ultimate health food. Diane Regan, owner of Triangle are replaced. Diane says, “So many air cleaners make a lot oftructured noise and theyisjust 0 pounds, the combat chronic illness: low Healing Products, compares it to water that is tumbling down a waterfall— move the air. This one really cleans the air.” She gets emails from customers who der also comes frequency pulsed if you can capture a glass and drink it, you feel invigorated. tell her that someone in the family is breathing better for the first time. is dead. and is then forced through old Diane reminds us that both air and water quality play“Our vital tap roleswater in our every It sits in a holding tank rew-in legs to electrometric field therapy STED pipes in order to get into our homes. Structured water is the most impressive thing day well-being. For a simple and effective means of achieving balanced water, the ly roll it away afterforever.” four decades in the business,” says Diane. Kenrico Forever Alkaline Water Stick Purifier is a “magicI have wandfound, that lasts NCLUDING abilizing support Natural Action Water units are easy to use in your shower, under your sink, in Place this stick into your water bottle, ON. your garden or at your house’s water main inlet. The most popular is the handthermos or water pitcher in the fridge, or those with held portable unit. Simply pourPurifier your water into the unit, where it tumbles through Forever Alkaline Water Stick and it will transform regular water into d an accompageometrically-designed balls, becoming structured along the way, mimicking the alkaline water. VD will get you + Omni Magnetic way water moves in a waterfall. The water itself isiMRS the only thing that moves— Triangle also offers Natural Action Water units, which will transform tap es you to come 24 HOUR REPLY REQUESTED there are no mechanical parts and Resonance Stimulation The Real Champion of Juicers water into energized pH-balanced nothing to replace. y one out. PLEASE CHECK CAREFULLY, INCLUDING water. This maintenance-free water When water is “structured” in this here, check out CONTACT INFORMATION. structuring system works without chemway, all its “negative memories” are icals, filters, salts, electricity or magnets. or. “People who erased, allowing it to return to its natural You will find that you use less soap state of perfect balance. Anything unsupr own garden Natural Technologies when washing; that coffee and juices portiveAction to life (such as chloramine) becomes nd, and those taste better; flowers last longer; and benign, its harmful effects neutralized, pets and fish tanks are healthier. ens, are fans of and all beneficial mineral activity is The BioElectric Shield Part of maintaining optimum health enhanced and more easily absorbed. or,” says Diane. for protection from electrois finding a way to detoxify and rejuPositive effects are numerous. Structured magnetic radiation & other ion of either a venate in order to deal with every day water prevents and removes corrosion people’s negative energy. stresses in life. at will fit under of pipes; improves crop and garden “People don’t do enough today to growth; coffee tastes better; cut flowers dishwasher size The Best from Germany BioElectric Kenrico Lifetime Ion Shower Head Amethyst Therapeutic BioMat create a good sweat,” states Diane. last longer; pets andShield livestock are healthier; muscles theare human body ne model that There are 638Radiant Healthin Saunas a new generand fish tanks are cleaner. People find onofainfrared Bellicon® rebounder saunas, designed to variety of coun- and bouncingation that they drink more water yet make top:trips Kenrico Stick; you detox; relieve chronic pain Clockwise from fewer to theWater bathroom. This is because them. e able to grow engages all ofhelp Sauna; water IQ Airispurifier conditions; lose weight; and relax, Radiant Health structured properly absorbed by bs and microwithout exposing you to excess electhe cells within your body, making it a drator, the highest tromagnetic radiation. Ifpesticides, your only experience with a sauna is at the gym, you Athletes are in your own kitchen. And, you are in control—no truly effective hydrator. love it. food dehydrator in for a pleasant surprise. Diane lists the differences in a Radiant Health Sauna: Diane invites you“The to visit Triangle no waste. d it’s quiet! air is cooler, you can stay in longer, and you can even read a book.” Healing Health to taste a glass of struc- Top: Kenrico Ion Shower Head gg for a smaller investment, consider Ifthe 3000 Products youFreshlife don’t have the spaceto forgrow a sauna, consider an Amethyst Bio-Mat to achieve tured water, while you check out the Bottom: (r) Portable Natural Action e, Victoria, theautomatic same therapeutic benefits. It produces high qualitylarge infrared meanssparse of branches Water unit; (l) Kenrico Water Purifier mand. ThisBCeasy to use model has an watering system leafyrays plantbywhose fiber and natural amethyst. One woman bought Bio-Mat withleaves a gift have been andathick rubbery orner of your kitchen.Who super shops atfromTriangle? People who to their health. certificate she had received work colleagues. Whendramatically she reported her first good transformed to plentiful brancheswant covered with dark greentransform soft uts or greens can be used to make fresh juice from your night’s sleep in years, Diane says,new “Guess who came in and bought some?” leaves. Plants, notesDiane Diane, are immune to the placebo effect! says simply, “The Bio Mat sells itself.” Come in to Triangle complementary cer and Mincer, another quality product available at Triangle. Onfor thea topic of water, Triangle also offers the Kenrico Ion Shower Head, a fully Radiant Health Sauna sessionthe in one of their treatment transparent showerhead filled with natural quartz, citrines crystals and rare with a small footprint on your counter, Slowstar rapidly rooms. cuts With CarbonFlow™ heating, the latest Watch for the Bellicon Rebounder and the Urban Cultivator to be featured in Japanese hot spring minerals. This unique showerhead promises to refresh, roduce into a high yield of juice with a reduced amount of

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